New York Times: “We Set the Agenda for the Country”, Finds Time For Some Soul-Searching

Stunned By Trump, The New York Times Finds Time For Some Soul-Searching, by Michael Cieply.

For starters, it’s important to accept that the New York Times has always — or at least for many decades — been a far more editor-driven, and self-conscious, publication than many of those with which it competes. Historically, the Los Angeles Times, where I worked twice, for instance, was a reporter-driven, bottom-up newspaper. Most editors wanted to know, every day, before the first morning meeting: “What are you hearing? What have you got?”

It was a shock on arriving at the New York Times in 2004, as the paper’s movie editor, to realize that its editorial dynamic was essentially the reverse. By and large, talented reporters scrambled to match stories with what internally was often called “the narrative.” We were occasionally asked to map a narrative for our various beats a year in advance, square the plan with editors, then generate stories that fit the pre-designated line.

Reality usually had a way of intervening. But I knew one senior reporter who would play solitaire on his computer in the mornings, waiting for his editors to come through with marching orders. Once, in the Los Angeles bureau, I listened to a visiting National staff reporter tell a contact, more or less: “My editor needs someone to say such-and-such, could you say that?

The bigger shock came on being told, at least twice, by Times editors who were describing the paper’s daily Page One meeting: “We set the agenda for the country in that room.”

New York Times: “We Set the Agenda for the Country”, by Daniel Greenfield.

The New York Times likes to think that it sets the agenda for the country. But it sets the agenda for the media. … The media’s own agenda is set by a handful of large outlets and smaller, influential left-wing bloggers. Then the marching orders go forth.

In Australia, the ABC sets the agenda for the country’s media and the political circus. Because of the dominating size of its large taxpayer-funded news and current affairs, and its many outlets, the ABC makes it difficult for private voices to compete. The tax-consuming, big government voice dominates Australian discourse and thought.

The ABC offers the best jobs for journalists, both well-paid and secure. So nearly all the journalists at other organizations toe the ABC line, because otherwise their chance of sometime getting an ABC job evaporate.

When the ABC news and current affairs want to say something, it merely finds a politician or other to put that point of view to camera. Which is why they feature Greens such as Sarah Hansen Young so often. The Nationals hardly ever get a turn, and when it is it is mainly to fill the “bad guy” role — an example of how not to be trendy, saying something to be critiqued, a negative example.

And where does the ABC gets its agenda from, to decide on the narrative to be promoted? As in the US, mainly from a handful of left wing bloggers — and groups like GetUp!, which are part of the international Soros network. Which is how George Soros has an out-sized influence over the Australian political scene.